The networking system has a max frame rate of 120hz by default. Inside UNetConnection::Tick it computes an estimated bandwidth by using that max frame rate, the engine's max frame rate, and the actual delta time. The engine's max frame rate can be a number similar to 120, or it can be 0 if the game is set to be uncapped and none of the default caps are applying like the background or laptop battery frame rate caps.

This behavior changed in 4.25 due to CL 9690077 (originally 9688733) from [Link Removed]. That change fixed the case where the engine max tick rate is lower than the net max tick rate, but appears to have broken the case where the engine max tick rate cap is 0. If EngineTickRate is 0, it gets set to MAX_flt, which then sets DesiredTickRate to the MaxNetTickRateFloat of 120.0f. Because DesiredTickRate is now never 0, BandwidthDeltaTime is always lowered from 0.033 in my local example (30 fps) to 0.00833 (120fps) when computing how many bits got sent. This reduces the available bandwidth to 1/4 what it should be, causing network saturation and very poor networking performance on listen servers.

It's not entirely clear what the correct behavior should be, but this did effectively cause a regression in 4.25 for default networking settings. The old behavior would cap BandwidthDeltaTime based on the engine MaxTickRate if it was set, which also did not handle consistent but low frame rates well

Steps to Reproduce
  1. Make sure your engine is set to no frame rate capping. To get this on a default project you just need to disable "Use Less CPU when in Background" and make sure it's a desktop. For an existing project you need to disable framerate smoothing and fps caps
  2. Play a networked game that naturally runs at a lower frame rate than 30hz, by bumping the graphics settings to ultra
  3. Notice that effective network bandwidth shown in net stat or network profiler is much lower than expected, relative to 120 hz
  4. To verify in debugger, put a breakpoint in the bottom of UNetConnection::Tick where it is calculating the effective bandwidth and decreases QueuedBits

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ComponentUE - Networking
Affects Versions4.244.254.26
CreatedSep 24, 2020
UpdatedSep 22, 2022
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